Fernand Leger (1881-1955) trained initially as an architectural designer. He
studied in various Paris studios between 1903 and 1907 when, like many others,
he discovered Cézanne. Leger studied architecture at Caen and painting at the
Academie Julien from 1903. He became part of the Cubist circle in Paris, working
alongside Braque and Picasso in about 1910.
After the First World War, the dynamism of machinery and the geometrical
shapes making its components influenced Leger’s robotic figures, clean lines and
pure colours in his compositions.
For the next seven years, he worked towards
a concentrated structural strength in his paintings. His early Cubist painting
(nicknamed “tubist”) differed from the mainstream in their volumetric solidity,
in their deep space and in a Futurist “tendency towards the dynamic”. With his
friend Delaunay he was one of the most influential Cubist painters. His major
works are of contemporary subjects, simple in their black contours and bold
colors areas and endowing the original man with the 19th century
From 1920, his tubular metallic and abstracted forms entered into designs for
the Swedish Ballet and actual objects made the first abstract film, La Ballet
Mecanique in 1924.
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